We Made It in America: The Political Undertones of Pop-Culture & Hip-Hop [continued…]


IMG_5627

In Part I of his interview with BBC broadcasted in 2009, prominent rapper & social icon Jay-Z expressed his views on many contentious issues gripping the politics of America & the international community today.

The photograph above is very significant to this blog entry. It is a picture of Kanye West & Jay-Z during their Watch The Throne tour throughout the US. The title of this blog, is the title of quite a meaningful song on the album: “We Made It in America”. The song laments on the grievances & legacies of the African-American people, as well as the African culture from which they were essentially kidnapped; & which continues be exploited today.

This is Part II of the interview, continued:

The song is inspiring. The message too. Not only does it expose the crimes of the US against its own people, it expresses the genius of the African people, in the realms of art, music & culture. Watch The Throne, was a political masterpiece. A magnum opus. All the words fit. I felt like I was LISTENING to Plato’s The Republic. It’s the soundtrack, if indeed The Republic were a movie.

Essentially the political undertones of Watch The Throne are echoing the socio-economic grievances of all disenfranchised, marginalized, gentrified & exploited minorities. The twisted sense of “individualism” in the Western culture justified the historic atrocity of the trans-atlantic slave-trade, which exists today in a more elusive form, such as police brutality, gentrification, disenfranchisement, mass incarceration, income inequality & unequal opportunities for minorities.

These grievances are echoed by intellectuals of the 19th & 20th century, mostly non-American. I’ve listed a few examples below.

George Orwell, famed writer of 1984 & Animal Farm, was a “democratic-socialist” who warned against capitalism & communism, arguing the two led to statism.

Albert Camus, an anarchist, was sympathetic to communism but stressed that collective apparatuses might lead to corruption and statism.

Any Rand, hailed by Conservatives, defines the epitome of the hypocritical dogma of anarchical-capitalism. A self-proclaimed anarchist, Rand proved she was not loyal to her own creed, as she relied thoroughly on state welfare & sponsorship from the state of Israel, inconsistent with her atheism as well as her free-market fundamentalism.

All these perspectives force the following questions to float around in my head:

Is socialism another power-grabber?

It seems like the US & Europe despise socialist entities.

Are we the devil or are they?

Who’s killing who?

While most fight for freedom for some, who fights for freedom for all?

So what is the evil? It seems that hyper-individualism mirrors the tyranny of hyper-collectivism, both of which result in the exploitation of minority classes.

Prominent African-American scholar Cornel West associates the suppression of Civil Rights with statism as well as capitalism. He argues that America is not a democracy, because it serves an elite class at the expense of the will of the people. Furthermore, West suggests that capitalism results in many of the imbalances in the economy that cause misery for the lower classes.

I would argue, like 20th century German economist Fredrick List, that every successful nation-state adopts mixed economics combining state intervention with free market flow, which suggests that democracy & capitalism alone cannot guarantee the protection of individual rights. In many ways, democracy has engrained & perpetuated the tradition of exclusivity in the West which deems minorities, including blacks, latinos, arabs, gays, muslims & atheists are second class citizens, with little access to mobility in the economic ladder.

Freedom, salvation & happiness are not products of capitalism, materialism or the intellectual dogma of hyper-collectivism.

Rather, these virtues are achieved through humility, hard-work & self-reliance and the rest follows. Meanwhile, the power-hungry aim to deprive man of these freedoms, through propaganda & excessive force. How well do democracy & capitalism alone ensure these virtues? Historically, they’ve done as much as communism to improve the living conditions of the lower classes.

In his recent acceptance speech at the BET Honors ceremony, Kanye West took time to reflect on issues that form the bedrock of the Hip-Hop culture. Here is a snippet:

Fundamentalists, be they religious or atheistic in essence wholly worship man-made ideologies that eventually collapse on themselves, such as the neoconservative model of hyper-capitalism exhibited by NATO countries or the police-like communism of the USSR.

The association between the American & European traditions of suppressing & exploiting foreign countries is based in their logic of exclusivity. That is why 1% of Americans own America, while the vast majority remains living check-to-check. That is why, while the institution of slavery ended some time ago, the US remains at the top of the list for highest incarceration rates in the world, with the highest prisoner count than any other in the world. Yet, Iran is the great satan. Syria is the great satan. Venezuela. We go to war for oil & that oil never trickles down to the poor. In fact, it is usually the taxpayer funding all of this, against his will for the most part.

It is times likes these when I begin to question the logic of ‘democracy.’ There isn’t even 1 single definition of democracy. It is a vague term that is thrown around. Most people think it means representative government. Some think it means majority wins. Others believe it means universal law. I would say one of the distinctive features are the electoral process & term limitations. Democracy, especially by the Right-Wing, is viewed as the protector & guaranteer of capitalism & free market competition. But in reality, it seems, like communism, only to concentrate wealth in the hands of an already established elite so as to convince the masses they are free, to sustain them for lack of self-sustenance & to thereby garner their support for all political/colonial initiatives. The free-market is not protected by democracy or capitalism, but rather, just as in communism, becomes held hostage to the ignorance of mass-minded forces of collectivism. The freedoms awarded to the elite are limited to the mass because of a fear of intimidation & competition. A lot of propaganda is aimed at trying to convince us (both capitalism & communism do this) that earth’s resources are scarce & need proper redistribution.

But “exclusivity is the new N word,” said the courageous Kanye West during his most latest interview with Zane Lowe, in reference to the culture of hubris & bigotry that has disenfranchised all minorities & expressionists from the conversation of social justice.

LINK HERE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/bbc_radio_one#

Advertisements

#theworldtocome (continued…)


The struggle in Syria is inseparable from the struggle in Palestine. Oh God, thank you for inspiring me to write again. It has been some time. I must say this, for all the political pundits out there trying to draw quick conclusions and make premature correlations. Points:

1) Calling Hamas a terrorist organization for resisting Israeli occupation is like calling the Founding Fathers of America a bunch of terrorists for refusing to submit to the arbitrary imperialism and social customs of the British Empire.

2) The Muslim Brotherhood does not represent the Muslim diaspora in belief, practice, expression or ideology.

3) ISIS, Al Qaeda & Al-Nusra Front: all these out-of-the-blue islamists who spring up into our news feeds every once in while are not representative of the Muslim people, the Arab people, the Palestinian people, and they are likely all pawns of colonialists being paid off to take legitimacy away from moderate, liberal, secular and socially conscious arab resistance movements. 

4) The American government is a battleground: you have to blame political actors not only the institution. Obama’s America is different from Bush’s America. Know where to place the blame.

5) There is a significant Israeli lobby presence in America that holds enough weight in both the public and private sectors to pressure politicians into certain decisions. 

6) Democracy is a means to a greater end: a world where all men are self-sufficient; Republicanism seeks to prevent individuals from achieving a state of self-sustenance. 

7) Saudi Arabia is an artificial creation based on a family name – oil wealth is concentrated in one family; which I believe is responsible for much of the wide-spread socio-economic misery in the Middle East.

8) Saudi Arabia & Israel are reliant on fundamentalism and self-idolatry. 

PSEUDO CAPITALISTA


PSEUDO CAPITALISTA

I believe the UAE is a grand example of why capitalism needs to slow its role when trying to convince the world it should be ‘unfettered’ – let me rephrase that. I believe blah blah blah is an example of why we need to distinguish between capitalism and pseudo-capitalism.

I decided to reword it once I went through it all one more time before posting it. I love capitalism. Well, I love truth, and I am not going to hold the truth hostage to my stupid opinion – so instead of devoting my energy to touting something that might be wrong, fundamentalistic, or incomplete, I am going to devote my energy to trying to distinguish between what I think is right, and what I think is wrong, and eventually leaving it up to you to decide. I mean, I am definitely putting in my two cents – I am human after all.

Among the pictures in the below link – one especially caught my eye – the caption that is. Caption reads: Tea Party would not be pleased. Why?

89% of Dubai is made of immigrants – yes the west’s favorite scapegoat when venerating the wonders of capitalism. 71% of those immigrants are Asian – probably illegally there – exploited under inhuman work conditions – these guys are slaves people…

You think these immigrants have any human rights guarantees?

You see, I think the problem is that people here in the West like to worship a pseudo-capitalism that – in a more professional, perhaps academic, setting – would likely be labeled anarcho-capitalism, where even the most basic tenets of capitalism and individual rights are ignored for the sake of serving some arbitrary, usually tyrannical, goal, like dominating an entire region on earth in the Middle East. And this pseudo-capitalism is to these anarcho-capitalist libertarians what chairman Mao might have been to the ‘commies’.

Remember folks, God came before capitalism – believe it or not.

But here in the West any criticism of capitalism is immediately assumed to be un-american, communistic, or atheistic – none of which I think is accurate – in fact the only thing un-american is the absence of free thought, discourse and debate on pressing issues such as these – ones that affect Americans and non-Americans alike.

Instead of hurling labels like socialist and islamist around – let’s carefully dissect the accusations so that we may distinguish between true and frue.

LINK TO REFERENCED ARTICLE

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanterryb/21-stereotype-exploding-facts-about-the-middle-eas-mzru


Sometimes we forget the horrors of slavery. We forget the horrors of our own suffering. I remember though. I remember very well. Now even, I fear it. I want my truth. I want my freedom, Lord.


Starting to remember shit, the way it used to be. Nature is greater than the tree it plants. Nature is greater than the minds it births. Therefore, leave it to Nature to teach you what you cannot know. Meanwhile, sow the seeds of your own individuality. Stand firm, for yourself and the brothers who mold you. Trust in the Lord’s path, and focus on your desires and ambitions. It is time.

What I’m Learning


Take matters into your own hands.